SparkFun will be closed Monday 7/4 for the holiday. All orders placed after 2pm MT on Friday 7/1 will be shipped out next week.
Build your own Vacuum Molding machine and start making plastic parts in your home shop!
When you're trying to execute a build, sometimes it can be hard to decide exactly what tools will be involved. That's why it's a good idea to become a Jack (or Jill) of all trades and collect an arsenal of skills for any situation. Today you'll learn one more skill to add to your collection as I teach you how to build a desktop vacuum forming machine that won't break your budget.
Vacuum forming is used in all kinds of industries - thick plastics are formed into things like car dashboards, kiosk bodies and medical imaging equipment; thin plastics are used to make bodies for RC cars, all kinds of props for stage and film and even that annoying plastic bubble packaging. A vacuum formed part can be used as a mold for clay or composite materials or can be painted and used in the final product. Because the material is flexible and inexpensive, it's a great rapid-prototyping technique.
Check out the video below and enjoy!
So there it is. Vacuum forming is a really simple process and there are certainly plenty of ways to approach it. Hopefully you can find a clever way to work it into your next build. Go experiment and have fun with it! For more information on this build and links to the design files, check out my original blog post at Fringeneering.com
As always, happy hacking!